Is It Time To Replace My Water Heater?
May 1, 2018
Water heaters that use hot water tanks usually last about ten years. Naturally, this is only an average. If you get lucky and maintain your tank, it might last you almost twice as long. On the other hand, it’s not unheard of for a water tank to fail after only two or three years.
Water Heater Repair
Water heaters can fall into disrepair for any number of reasons. Sediment deposits can form at the bottom of your tank causing popping sounds when the burners ignite. Thermostats can malfunction or fail entirely. A broken dip tube can mix incoming cold water with the outgoing hot water. Uncontrolled thermal expansion can cause dangerous pressure levels and burst pipes.
Replacing Water Heaters
If you do need to replace your water heater, you have several decisions to make. The first being whether or not you want a tankless system. Not only do tankless water heaters last considerably longer, they also tend to be more energy-efficient. They are often cheaper, depending on the size and number of units you buy. The drawbacks usually involve performance.
Other decisions involve which heat source to use (gas, oil, electric, or solar), the size and shape of the tank, what type of insulation you need, whether to use thermal stores, whether your hot water heater is going to be part of your central heating. Many of these decisions may already be made for you, depending on your home and the climate where you live.
Energy-Efficient Water Heaters
Energy-efficiency is measured as a percentage of heat used, based on an average of 64 gallons used per day. The measurement is expressed as the energy factor (EF). An electric water heater can run as efficiently as .95 or .98 if it’s a tankless system. A new gas-fired water heater may run as low as .63, and older ones may run even lower than that, making gas water heater prices worth the initial investment. Of course, energy-efficiency is only one small component of overall performance and doesn’t take into account the relative cost of different fuels or the overall effect on either your utility bill or the environment.
Article provided courtesy of Long Realty Home Advantage partner, Silverado Rooter & Plumbing. For more information, call (520) 696-0000.